His research investigates the ecology of human landscapes at local to global scales to inform sustainable stewardship of the biosphere in the Anthropocene. His recent work examines long-term changes in Earth’s ecology produced by human societies through the concept of anthropogenic biomes, or anthromes, a term he introduced in 2008.
He has developed online tools for global synthesis of local knowledge (GLOBE) and inexpensive tools for mapping landscapes in 3D (Ecosynth). He is a Global Highly Cited Researcher, a UMBC Presidential Research Professor, a lead author on the IPBES Transformative Change Assessment, a Fellow of the Global Land Programme, a Senior Fellow of the Breakthrough Institute and a former member of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. He teaches environmental science and landscape ecology at UMBC and has taught ecology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. His first book, Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction was published by Oxford University Press in 2018.